Tauranga firefighters are disappointed by the actions of contractors who struck and broke a gas main at the intersection of Pyes Pa Rd and Havenbrook Way.
Senior station officer Len Sabin said the Bayonne Construction staff took it upon themselves to clamp the damaged gas main, rather than waiting for the fire service to arrive.
Firefighters were called to the site about 10.50am yesterday, arriving just as contractors were clamping the line.
"From our point of view it's disappointing. It's a very dangerous practice to do without having the emergency procedures in place without having isolated the area," Mr Sabin said. "It's not ideal to have contractors trying to fix these things without having the appropriate people involved."
Mr Sabin said it was unsafe to have motorists driving through a gas cloud which is why it was important for contractors to call emergency services immediately.
Police closed the road for about 20 minutes, diverting traffic along Cheyne Rd.
A spokesperson from Bayonne Construction declined to comment on its staff's actions.